The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

June 22, 2006


STRANGELY, but perhaps very fittingly, I'm listening to "The way it is" by Bruce Hornsby and the Range as I start this post...

TWO images from a sunny, winny, wild Thursday prompt me to pose and ponder what may be only the first instalment of my continual, quizzical look at the super self-absorbed universal question, IS THERE OR ISN'T THERE A GOD?

Image 1

As I'm driving into work this morning on a busy street in my Canadian prairie city of about 3/4 of a million people, a man is standing, his head down, motionless, in tattered clothes, turned away from me, in the way of oncoming traffic moving in the other direction.

I slow down and notice a considerate motorist who has stopped in front of the man, his four-way flashers on, his cellphone to his ear, presumably calling the police or some social work agency to alert them to the danger the man is posing to himself.

Alone. Alive, maybe barely. Oblivious or maybe making himself purposely obvious, crying out. Should I have stopped? Stopped the traffic? Approached, asked him what he was doing? Tried to help? I didn't. Off to work. Where's he now? Who's he now?

Image 2

A gentle knock on my apartment door after I've arrived home from work, still contemplating Image 1. Two young, smart-looking men, maybe 20 if that, with name tags that say "Jesus Christ" in big type and then, presumably, their names in smaller type.

I can't read it. All I can see is Jesus Christ.

Black suits, black ties, pearly white message. "Can we talk to you about the word of Christ?"

"No thanks," I respond. "I already have my own brand of faith."

"Well, do you know of any of your neighbors who might want to hear about spreading the word of Christ?"

"No. I guess you'll just have to knock on their doors and ask them yourself."

They're polite and leave, knocking on the next door.

And all I can think about is Sun Myung Moon and the cult that was the Moonies, which a friend of mine was caught up in as a 20-something guy who didn't have many answers to the questions his soul was asking him.

And I wondered just where were the precious hearts and souls of these two young guys, who should be so full of their OWN spirit and verve and free thought...and will they ever get their lives back.


  1. Scenario A is the depressing result of our social system dispersing thousands of patients suffering with hugely uncontrollable forms of mental illness onto the streets to fend for themselves over the past 20 years.
    In an effort to cut costs North Americans have traded warehousing these poor souls in exchange for allowing them to be free range vagabonds lost in a sea of workaday taxpaying so called Normal people who wish that they were still out of sight and therefore out of mind.

    Mormons (don't get me started) avoid my house like the plague since I have consistently questioned their previous proseletyzing efforts with basic questions about
    A. Jesus roaming around South America? There is not a single shred of evidence to support this notion
    B. Why accused plagiarist Joseph Smith's martyrdom at the hands of an angry mob while he was in jail in 1844 inadvertently became the shrewdest of career moves.
    C. The bizarre (whatever it's your life) belief that they will inherit planets of their own to repopulate hence the original mandate of polygamy.

    The notion that because one wears a tie, keeps their hair short,and eschews tobacco and caffeine automatically makes one a'salt of the earth' christian (?) is incredibly naive.

    People have the right to believe whatever they want but if you're knockin on my door you better be ready for a stiff interrogation.

    Forewarned is forearmed I say.

  2. Ah HE, did you not know that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

    I am. And quite active in my faith. I'll not take offense at your comments, if you'll not take offense that I am LDS.

    WW, I do believe there is a God. I'm not sure what you meant by 'if those two boys will ever get their lives back'. I can assure you that they have their lives and this is what they choose to do. I hope no one has ever tried to force their religion upon you. If they have, then that's wrong.

  3. And btw, I put the picture back up for the time being. :grin:

  4. Point taken, Pam.

    They DO have their lives and, barring the possibility of brainwashing as per the Moonies, this apparently is what they choose to do.

    However, they all dress the same. The biggest words on their name tags are Jesus Christ, not their own. They travel door to door, like vacuum cleaner salesmen, spitting out the same memorized shpiel.

    They seem like part of an army, like automatons, like the vast, mindless legions depicted in epic war movies from Braveheart to Lord of the Rings.

    Yes, we have to grant that this is their choice. But I'd argue they appear to be subjugating their own individuality for their faith.

    And I wonder what kind of faith or God would want them to do that.

  5. If you don't take offence to my OCD?

    I'm glad that you don't take offense and well you shouldn't if that is the path you've taken. That is why they call it FAITH. In the face of insurmountable odds and completely unprovable notions people continue to believe with heads held high. C'est la vie.

    I have had heated discussions at my doorstep in the past, especially back when I was a know it all Pentcostal, with both Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses desperately trying to outwit me in Bible roulette.

    My stance was of course the Bob Larson standard argument that if you're going to talk about Jesus then you should be using the good old King James. Any run of the mill christian does this when confronted with alternative gospels as I am sure you are well aware. That is why there are always three churches in a two person town!

    Since you are such a funny and gracious woman I have no doubt that we can still exchange bits of our lives.

    I have never hidden my agnosticism and regularly receive lots of fair and tough questions regarding my apostasy. So take a swing if you want, all is fair in the blogosphere.

    I have no problemo dealing with the struggle of ideas to get to the truth of it all. I try to keep in mind that we are all bipedal primates with ridiculously overdeveloped brains and that all of these add-on labels are secondary. When it comes right down to it, we all want the same basic things out of Life. We just choose different venues.
    Fair enough?

  6. within,
    Have you read lady wordsmith of late. Are your ears burning?

  7. HE, fair enough. And having said that, please know that we do use the King James Bible. And if any of our missionairies have attempted to bible bash with you, then they were wrong to have done so. However, their youth gives them a feeling of being bullet proof sometimes, and they do not always do what they should. Bible bashing never got anyone anywhere.

    As for the boys and their name tags. Since we believe that they are Christ's representatives to the world during their two year mission, they do wear name tags to let people know that they represent His church. Have no fear that they have dropped their personal identities or personalities. I served a mission for the church as well. I seem to have kept mine. :grin:

    I won't debate with you, nor will I do a bit of Bible Roullette.

    WW, I can assure you that there has been no brainwashing involved. Those boys in the suits and ties willingly give up two years of their lives for something they believe in. Please tell me how that can be a bad thing? They have good hearts, no one is forced to go.

  8. I'll let HE respond as he sees fit...those are his thoughts, not mine.

    From me...Thanks for the insight, Pam, sincerely. You have first-hand experience with this and on that basis alone, I defer to you.

    I still don't grasp it and it does seem to me that individuality is suppressed, but I admit that is my own judgment about what I perceive individuality to be.

    If people can find their individuality or feel this is the way they want to express it, and they are doing this entirely of their own free will because they truly believe in it, then you're right...what can be wrong with it?

    And, taking from the theme of a recent post by Darius that I think you commented on, people should not be so judged, even if you don't see eye to eye with them.

    Thanks for opening mine. Ignorance and assumption (or at least transferring your values onto someone else) can be blinding sometimes.

  9. You're very welcome WW. I appreciate your willingness to hear another's point of view.


If you choose to use anonymous to comment, it is only fair that I reserve the right to obliterate your comment from my blog.